Choosing to undergo orthodontic treatment is a big commitment, especially considering the fact that it also means to wearing a retainer after treatment to hold or “retain” the results.
Why wear a retainer?
As we age, the position of our tongues, lips, cheeks and gums can shift. The changes these soft tissues undergo can affect the positions of your teeth.
Besides this, after undergoing orthodontic treatment, the teeth will tend to move back into their old, crooked positions if they are not prevented from doing so, because of the fibres in our gums.
This is why the retainer phase of your orthodontic treatment is so important to maintaining the results.
What types of retainers are there?
Hawley retainers have a plastic base that is fitted to the shape of your mouth. The plastic base is connected to a wire that wraps around the teeth, keeping them firmly in place.
Essix retainers are nearly invisible when worn because they are made of a clear plastic. However, they aren't as durable as Hawley retainers, so you’ll have to factor in the cost of more frequent replacements.
Bonded (or fixed) retainers are custom-made wires that are affixed to the teeth with bonding material. These types of retainers are designed to remain in your mouth for many years, and can only be safely removed by an orthodontist.